<p>Tomasz Szerszeń</p>
<p>Tomasz Szerszeń</p>

No. 1: The Visibility of Things

Managing editor: Tomasz Szerszeń

Tomasz Szerszeń

This issue was supported by the Polish Minister of Science and Higher Education, through the “National Programme for the Development of the Humanities” for the years 2012-2014.

Table of Contents


  1. Introduction

    ”Introduction ”, View. Theories and Practices of Visual Culture 1 (2013), https://www.pismowidok.org/en/archive/2013/1-the-visibility-of-things/introduction


  1. You. Me. Things. „World as an Archive. Critical Modes of Historicity” – Seminar 1

    Krzysztof Pijarski, Justyna Jaworska et al., ”You. Me. Things. „World as an Archive. Critical Modes of Historicity””, View. Theories and Practices of Visual Culture 1 (2013), https://doi.org/10.36854/widok//554433

    The transcript of a seminar discussion around the photographic and research project of Tomasz Szerszeń, You. Me. Things with participation of researchers and artists interested in visual culture, design, photography, literature and popular culture. The discussion concentrates on the topic of the archive understood both as a subject of research and as an artistic and academic practice. The participants exchange opinions on the material and visual culture of postwar Poland, the heritage of the aesthetics and the cultural critique of the 60s., relations between East and West in the field of consumer culture, needs and desires, of bourgeois culture and the cult of things.


  1. Promises-Cut-Outs, or „You and I” magazine as a Catalogue of Things Unfulfilled

    Iwona Kurz, ”Promises-Cut-Outs, or „You and I” magazine as a Catalogue of Things”, View. Theories and Practices of Visual Culture 1 (2013), https://www.pismowidok.org/pl/archiwum/2013/1-widzialnosc-rzeczy/obiecanki-wycinanki-czyli-ty-i-ja-jako-katalog-rzeczy-niespelnionych

    The author attempts at describing the role played by the journal „You and I” – as well as things in general – in collective imagination of the Poles in 1960s. Literary and filmic examples as well as the practices of the journal’s editors are being juxtaposed with the situation in the West which provided an ultimate point of referrence and aspiration for Polish society.

  2. Critical Archives of the Everyday

    Paweł Mościcki, ”Critical Archives of the Everyday”, View. Theories and Practices of Visual Culture 1 (2013), https://www.pismowidok.org/pl/archiwum/2013/1-widzialnosc-rzeczy/krytyczne-archiwa-codziennosci

    The text draws our attention to theoretical contexts of an artistic project “I. You. Things” by Tomasz Szerszeń. It tries to analyze three main lines of inquiry: Henri Lefevbre’s critic of the everyday, Guy Debord’s critic of the society of spectacle and Georges Perec’s critic of consumption society. In each case the author tends to show the pertinence of the concept of the archive and the ways in which artistic project can comment on and develop theoretical problems. The important aspect of the article is also the suggestion that archival reflections can bring substantial insights to the debates about both recent history and actual everyday practice.

  3. The Idea of Things and the Ideas in Them

    Bill Brown, ”The Idea of Things and the Ideas in Them”, View. Theories and Practices of Visual Culture 1 (2013), https://www.pismowidok.org/pl/archiwum/2013/1-widzialnosc-rzeczy/idea-rzeczy-i-idee-w-rzeczach

    In this excerpt from the introduction to A Sense of Things Bill Brown examines the relationship between the surface and inside of objects in American modernist poetry. Drawing inspiration from William Carlos William’s phrase „No ideas but in things”, Brown investigates the possibility of the existence of ideas in things (instead of ideas of things). In his analysis, the author looks at the poetry of Williams, Paul Strand’s photography, as well as essays by Walter Benjamin and Charles Baudelaire (both about the experience of children) and proposes a framework of thinking with things, while also posing questions about contemporary social relations of humans and things.

  4. From Uma to Puma. The Role of the Counterfeit during the Polish Transformation

    Magda Szcześniak, ”From Uma to Puma. The Role of the Counterfeit during ”, View. Theories and Practices of Visual Culture 1 (2013), https://www.pismowidok.org/pl/archiwum/2013/1-widzialnosc-rzeczy/od-umy-do-pumy-o-roli-podrobki-w-polskiej-transformacji

    The article examines the social life of things in Poland during the so-called transition. By focusing on the category of the counterfeit, the author describes the process of the development of Western capitalist valorizations of commodities in the post-communist social reality. Through recalling Marx’s canonical text on commodity fetishism, as well as its commentaries by visual and material culture scholars, the author investigates the status of commodities and brands in the 90’s in Poland. The figure of the counterfeit becomes an analytical tool, albeit one which also transforms itself when applied to specific material.


  1. Toys For Dialecticians

    Adam Lipszyc, ”Toys For Dialecticians”, View. Theories and Practices of Visual Culture 1 (2013), https://www.pismowidok.org/pl/archiwum/2013/1-widzialnosc-rzeczy/zabawki-dla-dialektykow.-walter-benjamin-w-pokoju-dzieciecym

    The text is a critical account and an attempt to develop certain motifs and concepts present in a small group of essays, which Walter Benjamin devoted to the question of toys. By juxtaposing them with other, more fundamental dimensions of Benjamin’s thought, Adam Lipszyc tries to supplement his cultural analysis by a metaphysical dimension.

  2. Listing: Activating versus Frustrating Memory.

    Ernst van Alphen, ”Listing: Activating versus Frustrating Memory.”, View. Theories and Practices of Visual Culture 1 (2013), https://www.pismowidok.org/pl/archiwum/2013/1-widzialnosc-rzeczy/spis-rzeczy-wsparcie-i-blokada-pamieci

    The author analyses the archival structure of the list mostly on the literaty examples taken from the oeuvre of Georges Perec but also from the theoretical and literary work by Roland Barthes and a couple of examples from the artistic practice of French visual artist, Sophie Calle. Van Alphen looks at various functions played by the lists he discusses, concentrating mostly on the memory, recollection and reconstruction as well as representation. He is intrested in narrative and anti-narrative potential of the list.

  3. Photo Magazines as Narratives on Photography

    Karolina Ziębińska-Lewandowska, ”Photo Magazines as Narratives on Photography”, View. Theories and Practices of Visual Culture 1 (2013), https://www.pismowidok.org/pl/archiwum/2013/1-widzialnosc-rzeczy/czasopisma-fotograficzne-jako-narracje-o-fotografii

    The text is a critical account devoted to the problems of “artistic photography” in Poland during the fifties and sixties and the controversies concerning the question of photographic abstraction (the works of, among others, Marek Piasecki, Bronisław Schlabs and Andrzej Pawłowski). The author examines the specificity of medium (photo magazines): rather the “discursive sites” than documents.

  4. An Archaeology of Modernism: James Welling's Lock as „Theoretical Object”

    Krzysztof Pijarski, ”An Archaeology of Modernism: James Welling's Lock as ”, View. Theories and Practices of Visual Culture 1 (2013), https://www.pismowidok.org/pl/archiwum/2013/1-widzialnosc-rzeczy/archeologia-modernizmu-lock-jamesa-wellinga

    Taking as its point of departure Andre Bazin's assertion that "every image is to be seen as an object and every object as an image", the article has two aims: firstly, to look at the ways in which in and through photography the objecthood of the represented thing may come to the fore, and secondly, how contemporary photography that one might call "artistic" can be interpreted as an answer to the crisis of the object in art; a crisis triggered, or rather - acknowledged by the artists involved in minimal art in the 1960s. The article is based mostly on texts by Michael Fried, Stanley Cavell and Walter Benn Michaels, with James Welling's Lock and Bernd and Hilla Becher's Typologies as key objects of analysis.


  1. Ty. Ja. Rzeczy

    Tomasz Szerszeń, ”Me. You. Things”, View. Theories and Practices of Visual Culture 1 (2013), https://www.pismowidok.org/pl/archiwum/2013/1-widzialnosc-rzeczy/ty.-ja.-rzeczy
  2. “My Apartment Is My Hobby”

    Justyna Jaworska, ”“My Apartment Is My Hobby””, View. Theories and Practices of Visual Culture 1 (2013), https://www.pismowidok.org/pl/archiwum/2013/1-widzialnosc-rzeczy/moje-hobby-to-mieszkanie

    “My Luxury Apartment Is My Hobby” was the title of the column dedicated to interior design which in the magazine “You and I”, nearly from the very beginning, i.e. from 1960, was edited by the stage designer, Felicja Uniechowska. The case study of this column one can trace the lifestyle and aspirations of contemporary bohemians and intelligentsia since the inhabitants of the apartments represented quite a homogenous social group. Photographs which illustrated the column reveal fashions in interior design and the snobberies but also provide a visual (self)portrait of the era of “little stablisation” - it seems equally interested what is presented on these images and that which is not depicted, shown or exposed. The article was inspired by the exhibition You. Me. Things and it refers among other things to Pierre Bourdieu’s category of distinction and to the category of comfort.

  3. Black Market Next To My Name

    Daniel Malone, ”Black Market Next To My Name”, View. Theories and Practices of Visual Culture 1 (2013), https://www.pismowidok.org/en/archive/2013/1-the-visibility-of-things/black-market-next-to-my-name

    Projekt artystyczny Daniela Malone'a "Black Market Next To My Name".

  4. "There is No Way You Can Frame It." Daniel Malone's "Black Market"

    Krzysztof Pijarski, ”"There is No Way You Can Frame It." Daniel Malone's "Black Market"”, View. Theories and Practices of Visual Culture 1 (2013), https://www.pismowidok.org/pl/archiwum/2013/1-widzialnosc-rzeczy/nie-sposob-ujac-to-w-ramy-black-market-daniela-malonea

    Krzysztof Pijarski's commentary on Daniel Malone's "Black Market".


  1. I don't Have an Iconographer's Eye!

    Mateusz Salwa, ”I don't Have an Iconographer's Eye!”, View. Theories and Practices of Visual Culture 1 (2013), https://www.pismowidok.org/pl/archiwum/2013/1-widzialnosc-rzeczy/nie-mam-oka-ikonografa

    A review of the Polish translation of Daniel Arasse's On n'y voit rien (Nie widać nic, transl. by Anna Arno, DodoEditor, Kraków 2012).

  2. Power Doesn't Look, Power Visualises

    Łukasz Zaremba, ”Power Doesn't Look, Power Visualises”, View. Theories and Practices of Visual Culture 1 (2013), https://www.pismowidok.org/pl/archiwum/2013/1-widzialnosc-rzeczy/wladza-nie-patrzy-wladza-wizualizuje

    An essay dedicated to the changes in perspective in Nicolas Mirzoeff's research. A review of his book, The Right to Look. A Counterhistory of Visuality, Duke University Press, Durham – London 2011.

  3. Photography Like Ether

    Paula Kaniewska, ”Photography Like Ether”, View. Theories and Practices of Visual Culture 1 (2013), https://www.pismowidok.org/pl/archiwum/2013/1-widzialnosc-rzeczy/fotografia-jak-eter

    A review of the exhibition Ether by Katarzyna Mirczak at the Archeology of Photography Foundation (09.11.2012 – 10.01.2013).